Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 8/24/13
Mlb_white_sox_3fee
It wasn't long ago the Kansas City Royals were a season-best eight games over .500 and making their case as a surprising contender for a postseason berth. While their current slump has dropped them within one loss of the break-even mark, the Washington Nationals are on the verge of moving above that point for the first time in more than a month. Washington seeks a fifth consecutive victory while dealing the fading Royals a seventh straight defeat as the team's continue their three-game series Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City (64-63) reached its highest point on Aug. 12, when Wade Davis gave up two runs in six innings of a 6-2 win over Miami. Since that victory, though, it has dropped nine of 11 to fall seven games back of Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot. The Royals blew a six-run lead and fell 11-10 in Friday's series opener, dropping them 10 12 games behind Detroit in the Central. They were 6 12 back before their slump. "It's a game of breaks, and we're getting the bad breaks," Billy Butler said. "The way things are going right now, the breaks are coming and we're falling on the wrong side." Washington (64-64), meanwhile, is doing its best to improve its similarly faint playoff chances. The Nationals rallied Friday with a seven-run fourth and have totaled 31 runs during their winning streak. Bryce Harper had three RBIs, Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore had three hits, and Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer for the Nationals, who haven't been above .500 since they were 48-47 on July 14. "We never give up. We never shut it down," manager Davey Johnson said. "We go hard." Washington, which trails Cincinnati by 8 12 games for the NL's second wild card, also was busy before Friday's contest, sending catcher Kurt Suzuki to Oakland and recently acquired outfielder David DeJesus to Tampa Bay. The deals didn't bring back any immediate help for the Nationals, who will look to stay hot while facing Davis (6-9, 5.43 ERA). Davis originally was scheduled to start Friday, but manager Ned Yost flipped him and Bruce Chen. Given his last performance, Davis likely could have used the extra day off. He allowed four runs and eight hits in just 3 23 innings last Saturday before the Royals fell 6-5 at Detroit. The right-hander had gone 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA over his previous three outings. The Nationals will counter with Jordan Zimmermann, who also is coming off a poor outing. Zimmermann (14-7, 3.37) has struggled for a longer stretch, going 3-4 with a 5.96 ERA over his last nine starts. He gave up a career worst-tying eight runs while tying a season high of three walks in five innings of Monday's 11-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. "He's a tremendous pitcher, he's going to be fine," Johnson said. "This was not good, obviously. But I think he came through it all right." The right-hander, who is 1-3 with a 7.31 ERA over his last five road starts, has never faced the Royals, who got three hits each from Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer in Friday's loss. Hosmer hit a two-run shot and Justin Maxwell added a solo homer in the first inning. Maxwell also had a two-run single in a three-run ninth, but the rally fell short. The Royals have lost six straight at home.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ezekiel Elliott cracks great joke about Dirk's running style

Riddick refutes report he will interview for Chiefs GM job

Report: Rockets have 'serious chance' at landing Chris Paul

MotoGP qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix saw three frightening crashes Saturday

Report: Knicks attempted to move Joakim Noah with Kristaps Porzingis

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hornets GM mistakenly introduces Dwayne Bacon as Dwyane Wade

Three A's players knock first MLB homers in the same game

Cuban-American businessman emerges as potential Marlins buyer

Charles Oakley: Kristaps Porzingis was ‘wrong’ to skip exit meeting

Ranking the toughest divisions in the NFL

Sixers already looking to extend Joel Embiid

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker